San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: Illumina, Vital Therapies, and More

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Jones with the award during a CommNexus “Headliners” event on digital health innovation. In his new job at Scripps, Jones said, “I’m moving to a role where I think we’ll see the next phase in the history of wireless health, which is in validation of the technology.”

—After pricing its IPO at $12 a share last week, shares of San Diego’s Vital Therapies (NASDAQ: VTL) oscillated around $12 a share on the Nasdaq market. Vital Therapies raised a total of $54 million in the initial offering, and has earmarked proceeds to advance development of the company’s artificial liver technology, which is intended to operate much like a dialysis machine for patients with severe liver disease.

—Solana Beach, CA-based Evoke Pharma said it has begun enrolling 200 patients in a late-stage clinical trial of its lead drug candidate among women with diabetic gastroparesis, a condition that slows stomach emptying, causing nausea, heartburn, and swings in blood sugar levels. Evoke has been developing a formulation of metoclopramide that can be delivered as a nasal spray. The company says the drug gets into the bloodstream faster by using a nasal delivery rather than a pill taken orally.

—San Diego-based Accelrys (NASDAQ: ACCL), which provides software to manage scientific innovation, introduced two new mobile applications that support scientific collaboration and life sciences workflows. The company, which agreed to a $750 million buyout offer from Dassault Systemes in January, said the new offerings are available in the Apple App Store.

Xconomy has hired Alex Lash, a longtime biotech reporter based in San Francisco, as our new National Biotech Editor. Alex was previously the biopharma editor of Start-Up, part of a prestigious family of publications at Elsevier that also includes The Pink Sheet and In Vivo. Xconomy also named longtime contributor Elise Craig as Xconomy San Francisco Editor. Our previous Xconomy San Francisco Editor, the inimitable Wade Roush, will remain in the Bay Area, but he has been unleashed for a more wide-ranging role as Xconomy Editor at Large.

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